It didn’t last long, but based on what happened in the first 13 games on and off the field, firing Urban Meyer was probably the right thing to do for owner Shad Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meyer was fired Thursday morning, and OC Darrell Bevell was named the interim coach for the rest of the season.
“There’s been some drama; there’s been some distractions,” Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence said Thursday. “You can’t ever go back, though; you just have to move forward. Where we’re at right now, [Interim Head Coach], Coach Bev[ell] ‘s our head coach the rest of the reason, and I have a lot of respect for Bev and who he is. He’s earned my respect, so we’re going to all follow him. I’m excited about these last four games and just to go play our best and finish with some momentum.”
Despite all the drama, the number one pick says he has a lot of respect for Meyer.
“He’s great. [I] have a lot of respect for him,” Lawrence said. “This first thing I’ll say about all of this is just I respect [former Head Coach] Coach [Urban] Meyer, and I really appreciate everything he’s done for me. He’s one of the main reasons I’m here. He drafted me, so that will always be there, and I wish him nothing but the best. Obviously, it didn’t work out here; some changes had to be made. But as far as Coach and his future, I wish him nothing but the best, and I guess I’ll just start with that.”
Meyer’s firing did not come down until after Thursday midnight, but Lawrence, like others, found out about Meyer’s dismissal early Thursday morning.
“I actually, I didn’t find out until this morning. I woke up; I guess it was around six or whatever and saw it on my phone,” Lawrence explained. “I had some texts and then just naturally kind of googled it to see what’s going on, just to be honest. Saw that, and I rolled over and told Marissa [his wife], ‘Hey, this just happened. It’ll be an interesting day at work.”
Even after a tumultuous first season, Lawrence is committed to trying to win in Jacksonville.
“Let’s go turn this thing around, go become a winner, let’s go win some games, get this thing turned around,” he said. “I have full faith in that still. Obviously, there’s a lot of steps to be made in the future to go in that direction, but I still believe that, and I plan on being here for a long time, hopefully, my whole career. Whatever the future holds, I know I’m just going to be the best I can every day, wherever my feet are. That’s how I’m approaching it, and that’s how I always will.”
Jacksonville(2-11) hopes to end their five-game losing streak on Sunday at home against the Texans.
Watch below as Lawrence talks Meyer’s firing and turning things around in Jacksonville:
After 13 games, the Urban Meyer era is over in Jacksonville. The 57-year-old Meyer was fired Thursday morning.
According to the Jaguars, OC Darrell Bevell will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the 2021 season.
Meyer’s firing came on the heels of former Jaguars K Josh Lambo accusing Meyer of kicking him before practice in August, which Meyer denied.
Here is a statement from Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the firing of Meyer:
“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.
“Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season. In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff, and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season.”
Meyer has had several missteps during his short time in Jacksonville, including having a female, who was not his wife, dancing close to him at a bar in Ohio after staying behind following the team’s loss to the Bengals, to hiring former Iowa strength and conditioning Chris Doyle, who some players at Iowa accused of making racist remarks. Meyer made many questionable decisions, which gave Jacksonville no choice but to fire him.
Meyer, a three-time national champion, accumulated a 187-32 record and a .854 winning percentage, the third-highest in college football history. However, this did not translate to wins on the NFL level.
The Jaguars(2-11) hope to snap their five-game losing streak Sunday at home against the Texans.
On Sunday against the Titans, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence had the worst game of his young career. The number one pick was 24/40 for 221 yards and a career-high four interceptions as the Jags were shoutout 20-0.
Lawrence was off yesterday, and according to Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, the coaching staff discussed benching the rookie quarterback.
“There were some conversations about what would be best for Trevor [Lawrence] at this point,” Meyer said Monday. “I obviously relied on Bev [Darrell Bevell] and Schotty [BriaSchottenheimer] to give their opinions. We thought, all three of us, that it would be best to let him finish.”
Meyer was asked if he thought about sitting Lawrence down for a game, but at this point, Meyer is not looking to go in that direction.
“I don’t think so,” Meyer said about possibly sitting Lawrence. “I’ll go have that chat with—. I think this is a learning experience for Trevor [Lawrence]. We need to go win a game, and if we believe Trevor is our best chance to win a game and he’s going to be our quarterback here, then to keep just fighting through it, fighting through it.”
In the last seven games, Jacksonville has not scored more than 17 points, and while Meyer is seeing frustration, he is not seeing players turn on each other.
“Yeah, on offense, I feel when things aren’t performing to the level that we expect, you would expect frustration,” he said. “I don’t see finger-pointing, I don’t see yelling at each other, I don’t see fist-fights on the sideline like I’ve heard about, I don’t see any of that. But I see frustration.”
Jacksonville should stick with Lawrence. Young quarterbacks struggle, and they have bad games. Look, Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions as a rookie, so interceptions come with youth. Lawrence will get better, but unfortunately, there will be struggles.
Down 21-3 in the third quarter, it appeared the Jacksonville Jaguars were on the verge of getting routed on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons(5-6) at TIAA Bank Field.
However, they battled and fought and cut the lead to 21-14 in the fourth. Jacksonville had one final chance to tie the game late, but after getting a first down from their own 29, Trevor Lawrence would throw four straight incompletions, and ultimately, Jacksonville would fall to the Falcons 21-14.
With the loss, Jacksonville(2-9) has lost three straight and four out of their last five.
In two of the last three games, the Jaguars had their offense on the field with an opportunity to win or tie the game, and both times, the offense failed to get the job done, which Lawrence discussed post-game.
“Our defense two times has put us in a situation to go win the game and haven’t been able to do it,” Lawrence said. “So we’ve just got to get better and go make those plays in the biggest moments. I know we can do it, but we’ve got to go do it, and that starts with me and staying on schedule even in the two-minute. It’s tough when you get in 3rd and 4th and 10. We’ve got to get better at that, but we’re going to get some more opportunities and just keep working for when you do get it to go and execute and win the game.”
Despite the loss, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was happy with the team’s efforts.
“Yeah, they fought their tails off, and 84 [Cordarrelle Patterson] is a really good player for them, and he hurt us early, and then on offense, we moved the ball a little bit, just no big plays. Just none,” Meyer said. “And then, all of a sudden, we started getting some. Offensive football is a big-play — not many teams can drive the length of a field without a hit here and there, and we had some hits and scored a couple times.”
Against Atlanta, Lawrence completed 23-of-42 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown, interception, and after 11 games, Lawrence is 231-of-398 passing for 2,369 yards with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The first overall pick has been up and down this season, but according to Meyer, Lawrence remains confident.
“Yeah, I’ve had many, many daily conversations with him, and he’s a fighter,” Meyer said. “He doesn’t look at it that way. He looks, he came here to help lift an organization, and that’s the way he looks at it. He’s very hard on himself, as most great players are, and the whole question even I ask the team, ask myself, ask ourselves, what can we do better to go win that game, and the answer is a multitude of things. That’s never really come up. That’s not a woe-is-me, and feel sorry for yourself. What can we do to get better is how he approaches everything. Like I said, he’s very — that cat now works — is very hard on himself; what can he do better, and not just on the field but lead guys. That’s why he’s going to be a great player here.”
Jacksonville heads on the road next week to battle the Rams.
After defeating the Dolphins two weeks ago, there was a lot of optimism for the Jaguars(1-6) as they traveled to Seattle to play the Russell Wilson-less Seahawks, who were on a three-game losing streak.
However, even without Wilson, the Seahawks(3-5), led by backup quarterback Geno Smith(20-24, 195 yards, three touchdowns(one rushing), had no problems with Jacksonville as they defeated them 31-7 at Lumen Field.
“Just disappointed, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said postgame. “Obviously, we’ve got to play better; we’ve got to prepare better. I didn’t see that coming. I saw a good week of practice; guys were fresh off a bye week. We got down 14-0, and we got out of a . . . we’re not built to just be a throw team, and we got out of the run game, and then the penalties were nonsense. I don’t know if it was the noise or what was the problem. But we’ve got to get that corrected.”
Jacksonville had a hard time on offense and did not score until late in the fourth quarter when they scored a meaningless touchdown. The Jaguars were sloppy and committed 12 penalties. According to Meyer, this game was a step back for the team.
“I felt like every week we made great strides,” Meyer said. “I thought the team got better and better and better. Today was a step back. We tried to build on the momentum of the win because we played pretty decently in London, and offensively Trevor had one of his better games, and offensively we played better, and defensively we played better. We just went backward. On the positive, we held them to 60 some (rushing) yards, got three sacks – our defense just kept swinging. Just placed in horrendous field position. The defense hung in there against some talented receivers and talented players.”
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was 32/54 for 238 yards with a touchdown and interception, agreed with Meyer that Sunday’s loss to Seattle was a step back.
“Guys that are open and not giving them a catchable ball, I think that’s all on me. So there was three right there. And then guys just making plays when you need to make plays. That’s me on the third and fourth down, that’s receivers on some catches, it’s everybody. [Offensive] line, running backs, tight ends, everybody. We took a step back, I think, in making the plays that we need to make as far as just, good teams do that and good players do that. It all starts with me…
“I think it just goes to show if you don’t come out ready to play and you don’t play well; this can happen to anybody on any week. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you just have to play well, and we didn’t. It’s not concerning; for me, it’s not. Because I’m in that locker room, I’m with all those guys and see how hard they work, how they prepare. I know probably from the outside looking in, it might be. But it’s not concerning; it’s just we played like crap today. That’s going to happen every now and then, but we can’t let this happen again, for sure.”
Jacksonville was without one of their key weapons in RB James Robinson(heel) for most of the game, but this was a very winnable game. However, the Jaguars are a work in progress, so moments like these will happen. Jacksonville will try to bounce back next week when they host the Bills
The Jacksonville Jaguars(1-5) have done it! Jacksonville snapped their 20-game losing streak and won for the first time since Week 1 of the 2020 season as they came from behind to defeat the Dolphins(1-5) 23-20 in London on Sunday after a 53-yard field by kicker Matthew Wright with no time left on the clock.
In addition, both Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and number one pick Trevor Lawrence get their first victory in the NFL.
“It’s special,” Lawrence said postgame about his first NFL victory. “Obviously, we’ve had a rough My first win, out here, like it’s just hard, hard to even imagine.
“It’s awesome. I’m just really proud of this group. We decided earlier this week, we’re going to win this game, and we talked about it on the sideline, there’s going to be so many ups and downs throughout every game you’ve just got to keep playing, and we did that and found a way to win.”
Meyer added: “Well, we needed a win. Someone asked me last week if we were desperate for a win, and we are desperate for a win.”
Lawrence became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to win a game in London. He completed 25-of-41 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown, marking the most passing yards by a Jaguars quarterback in their eight international games. With less than 2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Lawrence completed all three of his passing attempts for 20 yards to set up the game-winning field goal attempt.
Meyer was impressed by what he saw out of Lawrence and Wright.
“There was a lot of things to fix,” Meyer said. “But you saw a young quarterback make a big-time play at the biggest time of the game, and then a young kicker that we just signed a couple weeks ago pop two 50-plus yarders, so it was a great win.”
Initially, with the game tied at 20 with five seconds left, Meyer and the Jaguars were going to throw a hail mary, but Meyer and OC Darrell Bevell changed their minds and Lawrence connected with Laviska Shenault on a nine-yard pass with one second left, which gave Wright a better shot to make the game-winning field goal.
After the game, Meyer explained why he changed his mind.
“We were going to do a Hail Mary, or one of the Big Ben plays just a jump ball in the end zone, and I kept staring at the clock, and we practice this every week, and it’s called slider,” he said. “It’s where you get the ball, and we usually say six seconds, five seconds, and we told our quarterback and Laviska, and I had the official right there, and I said, as soon as he catches and goes down, time-out. He caught it, time-out, and there was still that one second left. We practice that quite a bit.”
It turned out to be a great call by the Jaguars to go with the short pass, and now Jacksonville gets their first win of the season. Hopefully, for them, they can build off this victory as they head into their bye week.
The last time the Jacksonville Jaguars(0-5) won a game was September 20, 2020, when they defeated the Colts 27-20 in Jacksonville. That was almost 13 months ago, and losing continued on Sunday when they fell to the Titans(3-2) 37-19 at TIAA Bank Field.
With the loss, the Jaguars have lost 20 straight games, and they join the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only teams in NFL history to lose 20 consecutive games.
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has been apart of five of those 20 straight losses, and at this point, Jacksonville is desperate for a win.
“Desperate for a win, desperate for the way they go to work each day, each week,” Meyer said. “Desperate for a win. But we can’t worry about the past, worry about the future, and a trip to London and try to get a win. Some guys are playing their tails off. But, yeah, we’re desperate for a win.”
Jaguars RB James Robinson, who had 18 carries for 149 yards and one touchdown, has been around for all 20 games.
“You can’t wrap your head around that,” Robinson said about losing 20 straight. “We’ve got to find a way to win. We’re a really good team. Obviously, our record doesn’t show it, but we’ve got a lot of great guys in the locker room, and we’ve just got to find something that’s going to work for us.”
Even as the losses pile up, Meyer believes the team is getting close. Early in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville had an opportunity to get within one score of the Titans. However, Jacksonville was stopped on 4th and goal from the one. According to Meyer, the team has to find a way to close out games.
“We’re not closing it out,” Meyer said. “From the Cardinals on, Cardinals, Bengals, and this one. We go down to score. I’m waiting to see Trevor(Lawrence) get the ball in his hand with a chance to go win the game. We thought we were going to have that at Cincinnati, and then that penalty, and we couldn’t get off the field. Then a similar situation today. If we score on that, we score there, our defense really stiffened up near the end of the game and played high energy, got pressure on the quarterback, stuffed the run, and we didn’t slam it in from the one-inch line, two-inch line.”
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence completed 23-of-33 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown. The number one pick also rushed for a 4-yard TD, which was his second consecutive week with a rushing TD.
Meyer iss happy with what he’s seeing out of Lawrence.
“He’s awesome,” Meyer said about Lawrence. “We all are, the 904; we all are waiting for that. Our teammates are waiting. Just to give him the ball with a chance to go win the game because I think he’ll win it. His practice habits, his toughness, his leadership, it’s getting better each week, like you said.”
No team likes to lose, and no team wants to lose 20 in a row, but Lawrence believes there are brighter days ahead.
“We’re going to win some games,” Lawrence said. “We’re going to turn it around. We all thought today was the day we were going to get that first win, and it wasn’t. We didn’t execute enough down the stretch, but we’re going to figure it out, and we’re going to turn this thing around. It’s going to be a lot of fun when we do.”
The fallout continues from Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer’s weekend in Ohio. Meyer, who is married, was seen on video dancing very close to a woman that was not his wife. Meyer stayed back in Ohio after his team’s loss to the Bengals last Thursday night.
On Monday, Meyer took complete responsibility for what happened in Ohio, and according to him, he apologized to the team and the organization. On Tuesday, Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued the following statement on the incident.
“I have addressed this matter with Urban. Specifics of our conversation will be held in confidence. What I will say is his conduct last weekend was inexcusable. I appreciate Urban’s remorse, which I believe is sincere. Now, he must regain our trust and respect. That will require a personal commitment from Urban to everyone who supports, represents, or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver.”
There are reports that players in the Jaguars’ locker room are not happy with Meyer. According to the NFL Network’s Michael Silver, one player told him the following, “He has zero credibility in that stadium. He had very little to begin with.”
Another player, according to Silver, had this to say, “It’s bad. I don’t know how he’s gonna function.”
It should be interesting to see if Meyer can hold onto his job in Jacksonville. Meyer did acknowledge on Monday that he was concerned that this situation could be a distraction to the team, and it appears that is the case. Players are held to a high standard in the NFL, and coaches are held to an even higher standard. Clearly, with his actions, Meyer may have lost the trust of his players and the entire organization.